Het PokerStars Mediateam verzorgde weer spelersprofielen en foto’s van de acht finalisten van het EPT Main Event in Londen. Zo weten we precies tegen welke mannen Ruben Visser het moet opnemen. Er zitten een paar gevaarlijke klanten tussen, waaronder Steve O’Dwyer, Chris Moorman en Theo Jorgensen.
Seat 1: Mantas “KRAFTY_LT” Visockis, 23, Kaunas, Lithuania – PokerStars player – 1,510,000
Visockis has been playing poker for five years, almost exclusively in online MTTs. Although he was Day 3 overnight chip leader, he had a rocky Day 4 and was very short-stacked until he happily managed two double-ups in a row. He said: “It doesn’t matter how it ends now, I’m really happy. I don’t play many live events and this is my first EPT. I decided to buy in because I wanted to see how good I am.”
Online, Visockis has already notched up nearly $600,000 in online winnings on PokerStars, including $184,476 for a runner-up finish in the Sunday Million just before Christmas. Visockis is a regular in local tournaments in Lithuania and well-respected in the country’s thriving poker community.
Seat 2: Olof Haglund, 26, Karlstad, Sweden – 2,755,000
Olof Haglund has been playing online poker full time since 2006 when he resigned from his job as a paperboy. He specializes in online mid-stakes heads-up cash games and seldom plays anything else. Poker takes up most of his time but he also tries to find time to travel and play golf. Haglund doesn’t hang out much with the Swedish poker fraternity but instead travels with a small group of friends from the UK and Finland.
Haglund hasn’t played many live events but likes to take part in major stops from time to time, including EPTs and the World Series of Poker. This is his first EPT main event cash, but he won an EPT side event in 2011, taking down the €3,000 NL event (against a FOUR-strong field). That €11,400 prize was his biggest live cash before this week at EPT London.
Seat 3: Ruben Visser, 24, Rotterdam, Netherlands – PokerStars qualifier – 3,640,000
Visser took up online poker while studying business and marketing at college. He is still at college but now combines studying for a Masters in “Entrepreneurship and New Business Venturing” with playing poker.
His first live cash came in 2008 when he made the final of a €500 event in Prague. At the time, his online career was also hotting up and results included a win in the PokerStars Sunday Warm-up event for $113,000. In 2009, Visser finished 20th in a PCA side event and that June he finished 11th in the WPT Barcelona main event, before winning a €400 side event a few days later.
His biggest live result so far was runner-up in a €5,000k side event during the Season 6 EPT Grand Final, worth €171,450 – but a win here at EPT London would instantly take him from 12th to fourth place in the Dutch All Time Money List. Visser was also runner-up in the EPT Deauville High Roller last season for €152,000, and 44th in the 2011 WSOP Main Event for $196,174. His only EPT final table came last season at the PCA when he finished eighth for $156,400.
Only four days ago he finished eighth in the EPT London £2,000 NL Turbo and won a Master Classics side event last November. Visser won his seat to EPT London in a £320 Deep Hyper-Turbo qualifier on PokerStars.
Seat 4: Steve O’Dwyer, 30, Pennsylvania, USA – 5,270,000
American Steve O’Dwyer is about to sit down at his third EPT Main Event final table – and his second in a row at EPT London. As he put it, he’s “three for three in Main Event final tables!”
O’Dwyer’s first big score was in 2009 when he came sixth in the Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic for more than $200,000, but it was 2011 when the communications graduate had his breakthrough year. O’Dwyer won nearly $1.5 million in 2011 and the following year snagged a further $880,000, tearing through EPT Season 8 with a fifth place in the EPT Barcelona €10,000 High Roller, runner-up at EPT London for £465,000, and seventh at EPT Copenhagen for DKr 290,000.
However, despite a seventh place finish at WSOP-E in Cannes last October, worth another £130,000, O’Dwyer says that, poker-wise, the last eight months have “sucked”. He said: “I’ve been having a nice time but poker-wise, it’s not gone well so this is a nice change of pace.” O’Dwyer hails from the States originally, but now lives in Ireland so he can play online.
Seat 5: Chris Moorman, 27, from Benfleet, Essex – 1,075,000
British online tournament legend Chris Moorman has won it all online, clocking up more than $9m in tournament winnings. While he’s been no slouch in live tournaments either picking up $2,707,836 in cashes he has yet to pick up a major trophy. He’s come close with runner-up spots in the EPT Berlin High Roller (€145,200), WSOPE Main Event (€800,000) and WSOP Six-Handed Championship ($716,282). He did finally managed to score a live win at EPT Madrid last season when he took down the €2,000 NL Turbo Bounty for €21,050, – but that first big live title could at last arrive tomorrow.
“It would mean everything to me,” said Moorman. “This is bigger than the Grand Final because it’s in London and all my friends would come down and rail. I’d love to put a show on for them and win it. Coming so close so many times just makes you more and more hungry.”
Seat 6: Theo Jorgensen, 41, Greve, Denmark – Team PokerStars Pro – 1,550,000
Team PokerStars Pro Jorgensen has become a regular feature on the European Poker Tour and is one of the most popular players. The Dane has yet to win an EPT title, but doing so would earn him poker’s Triple Crown – he has already won a WSOP Europe event and WPT Paris (a tournament he nearly won a second time in 2012 when he finished second).
Jorgensen’s appearance at EPT London marks his comeback to the poker world following a horrific experience when he was shot in the leg by intruders at his home in December. Having received successful treatment, Jorgensen has made an immediate return to form, and despite holding one of the shorter stacks, must remain one of the favourites.
EPT London will be his third final table on the tour, following EPT Deauville in Season 2 and Copenhagen in Season 4. His lifetime live tournament winnings already total more than $3.2 million and he is ranked third in the Danish All Time Money List.
Seat 7: Tamer Kamel, 28, Willesden, London, UK – 960,000
Kamel is certainly the most local player at the EPT London final table – he lives only 15 minutes away in Willesden. He is a regular at the Vic, having played here ever since taking up poker three-and-a-half years ago and will be hoping to emulate the success of another Vic regular, Vicky Coren, who won EPT London in Season 3.
Kamel, who runs his family’s Icco Pizzeria in Goodge Street, plays both online and live. His best live result was sixth place in a GUKPT event at the Vic in 2011. Online it was $15,000 in a $109 rebuy event.
This is Kamel’s third EPT but first time in the money – he was out first day at EPT London last year and in Prague last December. He is getting married at the end of this year but unfortunately fiancee Lucy won’t be here to support him tomorrow – she flew off to Seville this morning to see her best friend.
Seat 8: Christopher Frank, Germany, PokerStars qualifier – 2,570,000 chips
Not much was known about Christopher Frank prior to his appearance at EPT London, but the 18-year-old has made sure he’ll leave a lasting impression. Frank is playing his second EPT event after narrowly missing the money at the PCA in January, where he also won a side event. Now he’s poised to record the biggest cash of his career.
It makes Frank, who qualified on PokerStars, something of a fast learner, who has already notched up results live and online in the space of a few months. As for EPT London, it’s been quite a trip. “It’s a sick experience,” he said. “So deep and it takes such a long time. It’s nice to have chips but its super hard work.”
Should Frank win, he will become the second youngest EPT winner, behind Mike McDonald who won Dortmund in Season 4, aged several months younger than Frank is now.